Higher Computing


Peer to Peer Network

Every work station on a peer-to-peer network has similar status in hierarchy, each having its own local storage devices for programs and data.


  • Each station on a peer to peer network has a similar status, with its own local storage devices
  • Cheaper than client/server - no need for file server or server software
  • Easier to set up current operating systems for peer to peer operations, for example, Windows XP


  • No central file storage - users must always use the same machine to access their data
  • Users must backup their own data
  • If one station is switched off, it may not be possible to access some resources
  • Peer to peer is less secure than client/server - users may not be required to log in

Client/Server Network

Client workstations make use of resources available on one one or more servers


  • Increased security over peer to peer each user must log in to server
  • Different users can be given different levels of access to data
  • Resources are controlled through the server
  • Workgroup computing - many users can work on the same document simultaneously
  • Flexible use of stations - any user can log into the file server and can access their own data from any station
  • Backup is done centrally - the system administrator is responsible for making backup copies of all of the data on the file server.


  • If the file server is not working then users cannot access their data
  • More expensive then peer to peer - its is necessary to buy a server and server software

File Server

  • Stores data files for all users on the network
  • Holds information that lists the files each user has access to
  • Holds information about the access privileges each user has to specific files and folders for example whether a user has both read and write access to a folder

Print Server

  • Receives print jobs from clients
  • Queues the jobs
  • Spools the jobs to write while they are in the queue
  • Sends them , in turn, to the printer.

Web Server

Enables HTML pages and other HTTP documents to be shared and accessed by the systems using a standard browser